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Strong lead performances and catchy musical interludes rescue this coming-of-age story from its formulaic script and uneven direction. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Four working-class teenagers live in an Atlanta neighborhood where hip-hop music rules and the coolest place to hang out is the local rollerskating rink. As the friends look forward to new horizons after high school, they face challenges on and off the rink that bring about turning points in their lives.

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Critic Reviews for ATL

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (33)

  • A light urban coming-of-age dramedy where the veneer may be darkly intriguing, but the finish is pure homily, of the sort where lessons are learned and dreams do come true.

    May 6, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Robinson's film is a cut above the rest, seeming simultaneously wise beyond its years and electrically, youthfully playful.

    April 8, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Too predictable.

    April 3, 2006
  • It's something akin to the earlier films of Spike Lee -- She's Gotta Have It and Crooklyn come to mind -- in that the characters are cherished for their human qualities, not for how well they swagger onto the screen.

    March 31, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Warner Bros.' low-budget stab at capturing an urban niche audience is higher on stylistic dazzle than originality or coherence, making it an unlikely candidate to bust out of the box office ghetto.

    March 31, 2006
  • For a run-of-the-mill hip-hop drama, ATL has some engaging hooks that set it apart from the predictable formula of urban youth struggling to steer clear of crime and pull themselves up to a better life.

    March 31, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for ATL

  • Feb 18, 2015
    Just watched this and really enjoyed it. Great story of young African-American life, with a great cast to bring it to life. The direction and cinematography also stick out.
    Jarrin R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2009
    A New American Story The movie was good and it had it's good moments. The story is not that great but decent enough. The acting was so-so from everyone, still entertaining and it pass really quickly. The attitudes, style and environment puts you right on the streets down south and that's why it was good. A tightly knit group of working-class Atlanta teens spend their time bonding over hip-hop and roller skating while pondering life after high school in director Chris Robinson's coming-of-age comedy drama that draws inspirations from the real-life childhoods of Dallas Austin and Tionne Watkins. For a kid growing up on the south side of Atlanta, the Cascade roller-skating rink is the place to be seen, and it's the place where the orphaned high school senior Rashad (Tip Harris) and his little brother Ant (Evan Ross) go every weekend to forget their financial troubles, hang with their friends and get their groove on. But outside the rink, the brothers have problems they can't avoid: Ant is being recruited into the posse of charismatic drug dealer Marcus (Outkast's Antwan Andre Patton, aka Big Boi). Meanwhile, Rashad's three best friends -- including the ambitious Esquire (Jackie Long) -- are pulling him in different directions, and his new girlfriend New-New (Lauren London) may not be as "street" as she seems. As Rashad tries to hold on to his little brother, he also comes to the realization that if he's ever going to make something of himself, he's going to have to step out of his skates and into the real world.
    Manu G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2008
    it was alright, aint no way that im goin to turn down a rich gurl. this shit is not real
    khalvic b Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2008
    The movie is okay, as it tells the story of life through the eyes of some ATL hood residents. It's entertaining to see the differences between neighborhoods, and follow the life of the people in the movie - but the movie seemed to forget a moral? You can make up your own, but there really was just no major point in it. It started strong, then kept going and going until an end where it ended up just the same as the beginning? Maybe, "Apperciate what you have, it could be all you ever will have". Fun to watch, but obvious loss potential makes you wonder what it could of been.
    Bobby H Super Reviewer

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